Startups

4 startup fundamentals to help avoid epic product fails

Anyone mad enough to launch a new product already knows the stats surrounding product failure. According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, over 30,000 new products are introduced yearly, and 95% fail.

However, even the 5% don’t always hit their mark, with many not doing precisely what customers need and others failing to meet their target KPIs. We call it the product death cycle, a repetitive cycle that emerges when, despite listening intently to customers and diligently building the features they ask for, products still struggle to gain traction.

It’s an all-too-familiar scenario familiar to many product experts, and the irony is that most product experts are doing exactly what they’ve been taught: listening to their customers.

On the bright side, the vicious product death cycle doesn’t need to repeat itself. There are ways companies can better understand their customers’ pain points to develop the right products that solve the right problems at the right time. It’s about understanding the core fundamentals.

Make sure you’re solving the right problem

There are ways companies can better understand their customers’ pain points to develop the right products that solve the right problems at the right time.

Regarding product design and development, solving the right problem might seem obvious. We’ve all heard of a solution for a problem — look at the Segway transporter device. However, the reality is that successful products and services succeed because they solve a specific problem that is well demonstrated. The challenge is really and truly understanding customer pain points.

I found this in my startup’s early days: We were engaged by a division of a large multinational company. As a young, motivated startup, it was a dream customer, and we dove in headfirst to build an excellent product for them. But after we’d developed the solution, they wanted something else because they felt their priorities had changed.

I think it’s something many startups can empathize with — you get a contact at a great company, and they tell you their problems. You build a product or solution to solve that problem, but it doesn’t work out as planned.

Courtesy by: TechCrunch

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